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What Happens to Assets Not Included in Your Trust?

Many people create a will or a trust prior to their death, both of which can be used to leave assets and property to beneficiaries upon the creator’s death. While most people have the foresight to include all of their property within a trust or a will, it is not uncommon for certain assets to be left out, either intentionally or accidentally. The following considers what happens to assets that are not included in your trust–

Assets Not Held Within a Trust Must Go Through Probate

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Assets that are not held within a trust must go through probate. This is the process of identifying and inventorying a person’s assets (that are not held within a trust), and proving that a will is valid (if a will exists). If the will is found to be valid, then all assets found in the will be be distributed to beneficiaries per the terms of the will. In some cases, a will may stipulate that any assets not expressly stated should go to a certain beneficiary. In other cases, there is no such provision as this, and any assets not held in a trust or addressed in a will must be divided per state law.

Michigan Intestacy Laws

The laws in Michigan that govern how assets are to be distributed if they are not otherwise accounted for are called intestacy laws. If a person died without assets in a trust, or without a will, their assets (or the assets not named in a will) will go to their children and their spouse, and in some cases parents or siblings.

Contesting a Will or Distribution of Assets

The descendants of a person who has died without placing all of their assets in a trust may take issue with the validity of the decedent’s will, or with distribution of assets per the state’s intestacy laws. If you have questions about contesting a will or distribution of assets, or want to learn more about what happens to assets that are not placed in a trust prior to death, it is beneficial to work with an experienced Michigan wills and trusts attorney.

At The Law Offices of David L. Carrier, P.C., our talented Holland family trust attorneys will answer all of your questions, can help you to form a will or a trust, and can advise you of your rights and options after the death of a loved one. If you need to contest the distribution of certain assets, we can help.

Schedule your free case consultation by calling our law offices today or contacting us online.